Corn Syrup Side Effects

| Modified on Dec 12, 2020

What Is Corn Syrup and What Are Its Side Effects?

With the present increase in obesity and weight related health concerns including diabetes, doctors, health experts, nutritionists, and health conscious individuals are attempting to do everything they can to combat the current state of society’s overall health. That being said, one specific item that has come under attack is corn syrup – a sweet syrup made by pressing the syrup out of corn kernels. In essence, the molecular composition of corn syrup is much like that of regular table sugar; however, as corn is a readily available crop, corn syrup is typically a more cost effective option for manufacturers and is often used as a sweetener in sodas, fruit-flavored drinks, and other processed foods and treats.

While there is insufficient research to suggest that the body processes corn syrup any differently than regular sugar the real problem lays in the “hidden sugar” that corn syrup often is. The greater one’s intake of sugar, the higher the number of empty calories consumed and the greater the risk of related health issues. Likewise, corn syrup has been linked to a number of additional side effects. A few of the more obvious issues associated with corn syrup consumption include obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, high cholesterol and increased risk of heart attack and heart disease. Additionally, regular consumption of corn syrup may lead to anemia, weakened immune system, fatigue, mood swing and suppressed metabolism. Particularly sensitive individuals may also experience lightheadedness or headaches and bowel issues.

Safe, Natural Alternatives to Corn Syrup

While the consumption of a limited amount of glucose, sugar, is necessary in the diet, the main concept to keep in mind when it comes to any type of sugar is moderation, especially with corn syrup. To avoid the negative effects of corn syrup many natural alternatives may be used. Honey, agave nectar, and stevia are three options for safe, natural sugar consumption. Aside from substituting sugar sources, an individual affected by corn syrup side effects can naturally treat the issues. Drinking raw milk, minimizing the intake of animal protein and sugar and drinking more water daily are all natural options for remedying corn syrup side effects.

Corn Syrup Side Effects

4 User Reviews

Posted by Jan S. (Nj) on 10/01/2017

I have had bladder issues now for the past 3 years and found that corn syrup is one of the culprits. If you haven't noticed it is in EVERYTHING!! It is so bad for you and why are the food companies using this? Money that's why, it is a cheap alternative to sugar. It is in most cereals, ice cream, candy, just about anything, read your labels. It goes straight to the liver and turns into fat. For me, with interstitial cystitis it is particularly irritating.

Corn Syrup Side Effects
Posted by Anne (Chicago, Il) on 12/02/2010

I have experienced an odd feeling of uncomfortable pressure at the exterior of my colon after eating certain ice cream. Since I experienced the same thing when I recently had Ginger Ale, which had corn syrup as a main ingredient, I'm wondering if it could be the corn syrup. It's truly uncomfortable, comes on in the middle of the night and wakes me up, but I can't get rid of that feeling by using the facilities. I have a very clean diet, so do feel things more than most. Has anyone else experienced this? Could it be the corn syrup? Anne

Replied by Carolina Bama Girl
(Mount Pleasant, Sc, Usa)

Ann, Just saw your post and wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I, too have had the same symptoms that you described. Every now and then, I will be awakened in the middle of the night with this terrible pain at the end of my rectum. So far, I have been able to get relief with elimination. I have wondered what in the world would be causing this and I believe you have hit the nail on the head. I am a soft drink addict and my drink of choice contains high fructose corn syrup. I have been telling myself for quite some time that I need to get off of the stuff and after reading these posts, I will try really hard not to drink anymore. I have also been diagnosed with hypothyrodism and have a problem with my weight.

Replied by Joe
(St. Paul, Mn)

I was diagnosed with anemia last year. I had been having very loose stools and I finally narrowed it down to two things. One is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and the other is red wine. If you enjoy an occasional soda, try buying the Mexican Coke. It is made with pure cane sugar. Once I switched to real sugar, the stomach issues disappeared. It was so bad that within 15 minutes of consuming a HFCS product, I had diarrhea and whatever I just ate was coming out the back end, undigested. The anemia, I believe, was caused because I wasn't keeping food in my intestines long enough to absorb the nutrients. 11 months later and with a modified diet, I am feeling much better, the anemia is gone and my energy level is back to normal.

Corn Syrup Side Effects
Posted by Mia (Ct, Usa) on 10/11/2009

Hi, I just sent in a response to someone from South Africa about side effects from food, but I was wondering if you have a page on corn syrup side effects? I think this stuff is really nasty and wreaks havoc on the pancreas. When I drink soda or ice tea with corn syrup, something I try to avoid, I get light headed and dizzy. It just happened on Friday when I drank sweetened ice tea at a restaurant. I forgot to ask until after I drank it if it contained corn syrup. It did. The symptoms struck me like lightening an hour later - first- a jump in my heart rhythm, then dizziness followed by a foggy brain. It lasted about 36 hours. I do NOT have this reaction to sugar.

I hope people will be very careful with these corn syrup drinks. They may lead us all to diabetes much faster than sugar. Thank you.

Replied by Desteany
(Petersburg, Va)

I am allergic to corn syrup. I break out in hives and my throat closes off when I eat it.

Replied by Onpupil
(Clinton Twp, Mi)

I was reading somewhere that they're finding traces of mercury in hfcs, which could explain some symptoms.

Replied by Alex
(Latin America)

Sounds like an intolerance. I get the same but only with certain artificial sweeteners and only at certain amounts. It's not an allergy in which certain foods make me sneeze and give me eye pain. This is different.

Link Between Corn Syrup and Obesity, Diabetes and Gout

Posted by Alain (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) on 06/29/2010

Hi, New researches show the following process:
Fructose (High Fructose Corn Syrup)->Uric Acid->High Blood Pressure->Insulin Resistance->Obesity, Diabetes, Gout

Here is a very interesting presentation by Joel Topf about uric acid, fructose and Hypertension.

Unfortunately, the sound level is not too good ... But the topic is very good.

Dr. Richard Johnson Presents the Hazards of Sugar
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A big portion of uric acid is eliminated by urination. Depending on the sources, I have seen figures in between 50% and 80%. This explains why increasing urine pH will help a lot in eliminating uric acid.

All the text below found at

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One factor that contributes to uric acid stone formation is the total amount of uric acid to be eliminated. Minimizing dietary animal protein intake will decrease exogenous sources and help patients whose primary cause for uric acid stone is purine gluttony. Endogenous purine production can oversaturate the kidney's elimination capacity in a patient with a myeloproliferative disorder or a malignancy, or who is undergoing chemotherapy, or who has experienced massive weight loss after gastric bypass surgery, or who is in a catabolic state. To prevent uric acid stone formation, manipulation of urinary volume, urinary acidity, and uric acid production are necessary.

Urinary volume. Increasing urinary volume makes intuitive sense since doubling urinary volume will double the amount of urate species that the kidneys can excrete. Clinically, this may be simple to achieve in compliant patients whose primary problem is low dietary fluid intake. For most, only modest increases in 24-hour urine output (500 mL/d) can be achieved in the outpatient setting. For inpatients undergoing chemotherapy where tumor lysis and high endogenous uric acid production are anticipated, aggressive intravenous hydration will help minimize risk of uric acid supersaturation. In patients with inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, or ileostomy bowel diversion, dehydration continues to be a major problem.

Urinary acidity. The most important factor in the pathogenesis of uric acid stones is urinary acidity. Uric acid saturation is pH-dependent and, as such, patients with metabolic acidosis or any metabolic state leading to acidic urine will be at increased risk for stone formation.

Within the distal nephron, acid is primarily excreted in the form of ammonium: NH 3 H %u2194NH 4

A defect in ammonium excretion may be a mechanism for acidic urine in patients with uric acid stones, obesity, insulin-resistance, or diabetes.11,14,18,19

Diets rich in animal proteins are not only high in purine but also high in organic acids. It has been shown that popular weight loss diets that are high in animal protein and low in carbohydrates (for example, Atkins or South Beach) are associated with marked acid loads to the kidneys, putting patients with uric acid stones at increased risk for recurrence.

The mainstay of medical management continues to be urinary alkalization. Unlike increasing urinary volume, where the uric acid solubility relationship is linear, uric acid saturation increases exponentially with increasing urinary pH. For example, increasing the urinary pH level from 5 to 7 can increase the amount of dissolvable urate species 24-fold.

The goal of urinary alkalization is to achieve a urinary pH level between 6 and 6.5. Higher pH levels should be avoided as calcium phosphate may precipitate.

Clinically, alkalization can be achieved with sodium bicarbonate (650 mg, 3 times a day) or with commercial baking soda (1 to 2 teaspoons, 3 times a day).22 Patients should check their urinary pH levels at home with pH test strips until a consistently alkaline pH is noted. For patients with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, or hypertension, in whom a sodium load may not be tolerated, potassium citrate (10 to 20 mEq, 3 times a day) is effective.23 Use of oral alkalization for uric acid stone dissolution is effective, with success rates ranging from 70% to 80%. With optimal alkalization, uric acid stones will dissolve at a rate of approximately 1 cm per month as measured by plain radiography (IVP). The treating physician must remember that patient education and motivation are critical to success.24

In the postsurgical setting where small residual fragments remain after percutaneous nephrolithotomy, intravenous alkalization with one sixth molar sodium lactate and direct nephrostomy tube irrigation with alkaline fluid can be used. Similarly, alkalization after shock wave lithotripsy can be effective in dissolving stone fragments. Nevertheless, with advances in endourologic techniques, the practice of prolonged chemolysis is not cost effective.25
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Avoid alcoholic beverages, niacin supplements, and sugary soft drinks

Why do alcoholic beverages trigger episodes of gout? One reason is that uric acid is insoluble in alcohol.[1] As the alcohol content of the blood increases, the blood is not able to dissolve as much uric acid, and the excess crystalizes. Gout problems are compounded because acute and chronic alcohol consumption impair the function of the kidneys. Alcohol increases purine catabolism in the liver and increases the formation of lactic acid which blocks urate secretion by the renal tubules. Excessive alcohol consumption can have severe negative effects in the ability of the kidneys to maintain the body's fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balance.[7]

Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, has been used for many years to treat hyperlipidemia because it reduces total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides while it increases high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL). Elevated uric acid levels have occurred with niacin therapy, and the high dosages required for this treatment are associated with toxic side effects that include worsening of diabetes control and exacerbation of peptic ulcer disease and gout.[14]

A study of 46,393 men with no history of gout found that, during 12 years of follow-up, 755 eventually developed gout in direct proportion to the consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks.[16] The risk of gout was related to the amount of fructose consumed. Men who consumed two or more servings of sugary drinks per day had an 85% greater risk of developing gout. Fruit juices rich in fructose such as apple juice or orange juice were also associated with a higher risk of gout. Diet soft drinks were not associated with risk of gout.

Effect of Temperature and pH on Uric Acid Solubility
The solubility of monosodium urate is a function of temperature. At normal body temperature, 37 °C (98.6 °F), the maximum solubility of urate in physiologic saline is 6.8 mg per 100 ml, but at 30 °C (86 °F) it is only 4.5 mg per 100 ml.[2] Several studies have shown that gout attacks are more frequent in springtime.[12, 13] This may be due to the accumulation of monosodium urate crystals in the extremities during the cold winter months.

Uric acid also has higher solubility in solutions of alkali hydroxides and their carbonates than in acidic media. Acidity and alkalinity is measured using the pH (potential of Hydrogen) scale, which ranges from 0 for the most acidic solutions to 14 for the most alkaline solutions. The mid-point at pH 7 is neutral (neither acid, nor alkaline). In acid urine of pH less than 5.5, uric acid crystals precipitate and lead to stone formation. If the urine is neutral or alkaline, uric acid remains in solution and does not precipitate. At 37 °C and pH 6.6, the solubility of uric acid is 6 mg per 100 ml, whereas at pH 7.0, uric acid is almost three times more soluble and forms stable solutions at concentrations of 16 mg per 100 ml.[15] Hydration with bicarbonate solutions has been effective in managing uric acid stones.[4]

Home Treatment for Gout
The elimination of uric acid from the body may be increased using a combined approach consisting of
1.warming the affected joints to increase the solubility of monosodium urate crystals,
2.increasing hydration to promote more frequent urination which eliminates uric acid,
3.increasing the alkalinity of body fluids to allow more uric acid to be dissolved in the urine, and
4.reducing dietary purines by replacing meats and seafood with egg whites and milk products.
Warming the joints may be accomplished with a foot bath or a heating pad. Hydration requires increasing the volume of drinking water to promote more frequent urination. The advice to drink eight glasses of water per day is based on the general recommendations of the Institute of Medicine which advises that men should consume roughly 3.0 liters (about 13 cups) and women should consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total water from all beverages and foods.

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Raw Milk

Posted by Robert (Katy, Texas) on 04/13/2013

My twin daughters and I have been drinking raw milk now for approx. 6 months to help battle asthma, allergies and ADD. While the results have been wonderful, I may have stumbled upon a way to battle some of the effects of High Frutose Corn Syrup.

From past experience, drinking sodas with HFCS would greatly effect me internally within 24-48 hours. Over a recent weekend, I consumed about 6 12 oz. sodas , but had two tall glasses of raw milk each day (morning and night).

Instead of running to the bathroom several times, I had no ill effects. Haven't been able to find any research showing the benefits of Raw Milk on HFCS.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Replied by Kash
(Dallas, Tx)

Which raw milk you are having? Cow or goats.. My 4 year old son is suffering with severe asthma and wheezing every week. we have tried several things but not much results so looking for help. Thanks.